Friday 26 May 2017

Natural Gas (LNG) Export (9)

Dominion Energy’s Coal Ash Pond Pollution In Virginia, both the James and Potomac Rivers are being severely impacted by coal ash pollution. Earlier this summer, the James River Association (JRA) objected to Dominion Energy’s draft permit to dewater coal ash ponds at Dominion’s Chesterfield Power Station on the Lower James River. Lower James Riverkeeper Jamie Brunkow points out in public comments that the permit fails to protect the river and its ecosystems, while threatening public health. More recently, JRA, along with Southern Environmental Law Center took samples at four locations near the Chesterfield Station. The results revealed high levels of coal ash contaminants, like zinc, nickel, copper, lead and arsenic in the water. This month, a Virginia state board will vote on the draft permit governing the dewatering of the Chesterfield coal ash ponds. In addition, Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s challenge of the wastewater permit for Dominion’s Possum Point plant, on Quantico Creek near the Potomac River, goes to court later this month. Tests show coal ash contaminants in drinking water wells near Possum Point. READ MORE… Sewage Overflows in Baltimore City Back in 2002, Baltimore City entered into a binding agreement (a consent decree) with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fix its failing sewage system by January 2016. The agreement required Baltimore City to repair essential infrastructure in the City’s sewage system to prevent raw sewage from entering waterways and neighborhoods – bringing Baltimore City into compliance with the Clean Water Act. Although Baltimore City made some progress in the intervening 14…
Federal regulators are in place to regulate. We are disheartened that, regarding the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas export facility in Lusby, MD, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) not only arrived at a “Finding of No Significant Impact,” but that the D.C. Circuit Court upheld that decision in a recent ruling. FERC had an obligation to protect the residents of Maryland and people who live in the Chesapeake Bay region. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is committed to protecting water quality throughout the watershed, whether it be from energy interests that include hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” or other extraction industries that pollute our most precious natural resource: water. For more information on the case, please visit our Waterkeepers Chesapeake blog. Court's Opinion
UPDATE (July 19, 2016): On July 15, 2016, the D.C. Circuit Court issued their decision to allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permits to stand in a case Waterkeepers Chesapeake has actively been working on - EarthReports, Inc., et al. v. FERC. The case is informally known as the “Cove Point” case. Environmental groups challenged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval of Dominion Resource’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility on the Chesapeake Bay at Cove Point, ln Lusby, Maryland.   The facility would be the first natural gas export facility on the Atlantic Coast. It is expected to send out more than 5 million metric tons of fracked gas a year.  The facility will have a major environmental impact not only because the source of the gas is from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” in the Marcellus Shale, which includes the states of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, but also because there is a potential for catastrophic environmental impacts should a failure occur at any point along the pipeline. Waterkeepers Chesapeake and other groups that work to protect the environment and water quality have been fighting Dominion Resources LNG expansion since 2013. Fracking is associated with serious negative environmental and public health consequences not limited to groundwater and drinking water contamination, earthquakes and permanent geologic damage, climate change and, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study, even an increase in serious asthma incidents for residents who live near fracking wells. In the case, environmental groups argued that…